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Alena & Mark’s story: ‘Where Go the Boats?’ Monday, 18 January 2010

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.

Having both passed their 90th birthdays, Alena and Mark Fraser recently collected a booklet of poems as a gift to their family and friends: “The theme of our booklet is simply serendipity and the passing years – gems which have appealed to us from time to time. Often we remember how particular pieces were found. How could we forget the voice of Albert, Duke of York, faced with unexpected responsibility as George VI and coping with his still troublesome stammer in his Christmas broadcast of 1939: “I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year”? (This is from‘God Knows’, a poem by Louise Haskins.) Our mothers read to their children, especially from R. L. S. and A. A. Milne – but why should the Water of Leith at Colinton have been remembered from childhood by Stevenson as dark brown? Was there effluent from James Gillespie’s snuff mill just upstream from the Manse garden? Or was it simply that hill burns are apt to turn peaty after rain?”

Alena and Mark Fraser have long been members of the Scottish Poetry Library.


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